A has caused portions of major roads to close due to flooding in West Dover, Pleasant Plains and along the border with Manchester today.
In addition, township parks and the Municipal Utility Authority rushed to Winding River Park today as the river flooded ballfields and trails and compromised an MUA generator there, officials said.
Elevated river levels has caused at least two closures along Route 571 today, with county crews unlikely to be able to repair the affected areas until Tuesday at the earliest.
Bridges on two stretches of the county roadway are currently closed to vehicular traffic due to the continued effects of Hurricane Irene, which has compromised the pavement along both spans.
"The water got really high," said J. Thomas Curcio, supervisor of the Ocean County Road Department. "We can't do anything until the water goes down."
Curcio said that while water did not come over the roadway at the spans at Whitesville Road and Oak Ridge Parkway, it rose high enough to "scour up some of the dirt" and subsequently compromise the integrity of both bridges.
Both spans remain closed.
Once the waters recede, Road Department crews can fill in any patches along the spans and repave the area. Curcio anticipates the bridges will remain closed "for at least a day or so.
"It's not a big deal," he said. "We just have to wait for the water" to recede.
On the Oak Ridge Parkway, a police message board flashed “BRIDGE OUT” messages while traffic cones directed traffic down Cardinal Drive. On the south side of the river, the waters reached Route 37’s Hospital Drive jug handle, closing the emergency access road to the Community Medical Center and to local traffic.
Jean Flaherty, director of Marketing for the hospital, said that Toms River Police were at the intersection directing emergency vehicles trying to make a left turn from Route 37 west onto Hospital Drive.
“There is no impact to hospital access,” she said.
Meanwhile, Toms River Municipal Utility Authority crews dropped hundreds of sandbags around a shed on the Winding River Park property that houses electrical components for a pump system.
Toms River MUA Director Steve Acropolis said that if water damaged the electrical systems, including timers that pump sewage out of one pipe and into the county sewerage treatment pipes, it could amount to $200,000 in damages and a big mess of backed up sewer pipes.
“We dropped about 300 sandbags around the shed. It’s already three feet off the ground but our guys loaded up the sandbags to be sure, and we saved it from the flooding,” said Acropolis.
He said about eight staffers rushed to the scene in hopes of redirecting water away from the shed.
“It’s the worst right now as it’s high tide,” Acropolis said at noon today.
The township park of Winding River was completely flooded at the Route 37 access road for most of today.
Township Administrator Paul Shives said access is severely impeded due to flooding.
“One access road to Winding River Park itself is underwater. Many of the pathways and park trails are inaccessible,” Shives said. “We recommend to people: stay away.”
The ball fields along the Route 37 side are under water, as is the main park road.
Trails and ball fields are closed with security stationed in the area. The skating rink however opened at 4 p.m.
Upstream, the township’s is unaffected, Shives said. “I believe the channel there is deeper. There is no impact.”
He said that he believes the worst is over.
“Nothing would surprise me,” he said however. “But the good news is there’s no more rain forecast. Within the next 24 hours, we’re hopeful most of this will be a memory.”